Mmmm!!….not sure what happened yesterday. The news release about the MTBF being held in Nobles Park next year was embargoed until 7 am this morning, as you can see by clicking ‘read full story’ on the front page. But by 9.30am Voirrey at Manx Telecom (our terrifically supportive Prime Sponsors) is emailing Merita at Ashgrove (our excellent PR & Marketing ambassadors), copying me in saying Manx Radio (our totally enthusiastic media partners) have it loaded up as the head story on their website!
So big panic for 10 mins as MT say they’ll run the story NOW and I’m saying they can’t because Chris (who does an excellent job on our website) is away for the day and won’t be able to load it onto our website until the agreed time of 7 am‘ tomorrow’. So Manx Radio took the story down and then I’m driving through Douglas yesterday afternoon (trying to avoid – no choice – the collapsed building in Circular Road) and I’m catching up with the Manx Skeet listening to MR at 3 pm when I heard our two production managers, Ian and Richard, being interviewed (recorded last week at Nobles Park) saying their bit why they believe (which is absolutely true) that Nobles is the best home for the MTBF.
So …total confusion!! but a topic for conversation at our next partners meeting on 2nd July as we all strive for total co-ordination but just one of those little teething problems.
Anyway, as I was saying….the day before The Who are due to arrive on the Island I received a phone call from Rex King, who is their Tour Manager, saying “when you send the guys to the airport to collect Roger and Pete the last thing they want are tourist guides as they will want to focus in on the gig”.
Okay fair enough I thought. But I decided to take some time out to go down to the airport for 6 pm and leave those I was paying a lot of money to, who were a lot more experienced and qualified than me, to finalise the technical stuff (plus I was just the promoter of the PBF, it was the Event Safety Manager who had ‘life or death’ from our side. It was the same job he does at Wembley Stadium, V Festival and Radio 1 Roadshows etc), and so I went to the airport with Andy Kershaw to meet them.
Starting to get a bit hairy now – they were due on stage in just 2.5 hours and the weather was starting to close in and the practices had just been canceled due to fog up on the mountain closing in!! I’m sat in my car next to the runway they were due to come in on thinking, “this is starting to get a bit hairy now!” Just to add to the ‘hairiness’ Jamie, my son phoned me and said: “Dad, we have 5,000 people being held in the bar area and the Fire Officers are refusing to give us the Fire Certificate!” So after inquiring “why?” and agreeing what we needed to do and with who (pardon the pun) I revert back to concentrating on the hairiness at the airport because by now the two jets are running late which is starting to get REALLY hairy!!
Anyway eventually from a kneeling position, with fists clenched I was staring up at the Heavens and I noticed a jet emerging from lowering clouds. It lands and out strolls Pete Townshend and Andy introduces me and yes he was focused in on the gig. The next jet arrives and out strolls Roger Daltrey with the other band members. Andy introduces me to Roger and he jumps in my car and the first thing I say is “if you don’t want to talk that is fine if you do that’s fine”. He replies by saying “what are you talking about?”. So I explained about Rex and he said “no, I’m happy to talk” which we did all the way over to my house in Peel followed in the vehicle behind by his security.
I brought him into the house and introduced him to my wife, Diane, and daughters Lucy and Peggy and he was extremely pleasant and chatty. The idea of coming to the house was he wanted some relaxation before going on stage so Diane made him a cuppa whilst I tried to tune in Radio 4 on the radio in the conservatory (which is his preference in listening but a station I have never tuned into ever before so I hadn’t a clue where it was!) Anyway our phone rang and Diane came in and said “Jamie is on the phone”. So I had to abandon my attempt to find Radio 4 and went to speak to Jamie.
I picked up the phone and said “Hello” and Jamie replied “Dad, you had better get up here now. We have a really serious problem. The Fire Officers are refusing to give us the Fire Certificate and I have 5,000 people staring at me right now from the mojo barriers and Back Door Slam are due on in 40 minutes!”
Mmmm!!… I thought “do I want to go and talk to two local Fire Officers or sit here and talk to an internationally famous childhood hero of my mine who I’ll probably never, ever meet again?”
The Fire Officers won!! Tune in (not to Radio 4) for the next installment where I actually stared into the frightening face of complete disaster in a metal portacabin…….